Flipkart is one of the leading e-commerce companies in India, providing a wide range of products and services to customers. Founded in 2007, Flipkart has grown to become a household name in the country, with a market share of around 62% in 2022 during a September sale. This article will provide a brief history of Flipkart, highlighting its major milestones, challenges, and achievements over the years.
Flipkart, located in Banglore, is an Indian e-commerce company that was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal in 2007. Initially, it was an online bookstore, but it has now expanded to include a wide range of products such as electronics, fashion, home appliances, and groceries. Flipkart has played a significant role in the growth of the Indian e-commerce market, and its success has inspired the development of many other e-commerce startups in the country.
Founding of Flipkart
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who are not related, met each other while working at Amazon in India. They decided to quit their jobs and start their own e-commerce company. Initially, they planned to create an online comparison website for books, but after studying the market, they realized that there was a huge potential for online bookstores in India. They launched Flipkart as an online bookstore with a modest investment of Rs. 4 lakh ($5,500).
Early Days of Flipkart
The early days of Flipkart were not easy. They faced several challenges such as lack of funds, poor logistics infrastructure, and low internet penetration in India. However, they were able to overcome these challenges by offering a wide range of books at competitive prices, providing excellent customer service, and leveraging social media to market their brand.
Flipkart’s First Big Breakthrough
In 2010, Flipkart received its first major funding of $1 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global. This allowed them to expand their product range and improve their logistics infrastructure. In the same year, they launched their mobile app, which helped them to reach a wider audience.
Expansion of Flipkart
In the following years, Flipkart continued to grow rapidly, expanding its product range to include electronics, fashion, home appliances, and groceries. They also launched several new services such as same-day delivery, cash on delivery, and easy returns, which helped to attract more customers. Flipkart’s success inspired the development of many other e-commerce startups in India, and the Indian e-commerce market grew rapidly.
Acquisition of Myntra
In 2014, Flipkart acquired Myntra, a leading online fashion retailer in India, for $300 million. This helped them to strengthen their position in the fashion and lifestyle category and expand their customer base. The merger also helped them to compete more effectively with Amazon, which had launched its Indian e-commerce platform in 2013.
Flipkart’s Entry into Digital Payments
In 2016, Flipkart launched its digital payments platform, PhonePe, which allowed users to make payments using their mobile phones. PhonePe quickly became one of the leading digital payment platforms in India, competing with other popular platforms such as Paytm and Google Pay.
Flipkart’s Acquisition by Walmart
In 2018, Flipkart made headlines when it was acquired by Walmart, one of the world’s largest retail companies, for a whopping $16 billion. This was one of the largest acquisitions in the Indian e-commerce industry, and it helped to strengthen Flipkart’s position in the market. The acquisition also helped Walmart to enter the Indian market and compete with Amazon, which had been operating in India for several years.
Flipkart’s Journey Towards Sustainability
In recent years, Flipkart has made significant efforts toward sustainability and environmental responsibility. They have launched several initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint, such as switching to electric vehicles for last-mile delivery and reducing plastic packaging. They have also launched several programs to support small businesses and promote local products.
Flipkart’s Contributions to Indian E-commerce
Flipkart has played a significant role in the growth of the Indian e-commerce market. It has helped to bring online shopping to millions of people in India, particularly those in smaller towns and rural areas. Flipkart has also provided a platform for small businesses to sell their products online, which has helped to boost the Indian economy.
Challenges Faced by Flipkart
Flipkart has faced several challenges over the years, particularly in the face of intense competition from Amazon and other e-commerce companies. They have also faced criticism over issues such as counterfeit products, poor working conditions for delivery executives, and data privacy concerns. However, Flipkart has worked hard to address these challenges and improve its operations.
Flipkart has come a long way since its humble beginnings as an online bookstore. It has grown to become one of the leading e-commerce companies in India, with a wide range of products and services. Flipkart has faced several challenges over the years, but it has managed to overcome them and continues to grow. Its contributions to the Indian e-commerce market and its efforts towards sustainability are commendable, and it is likely to continue to play a significant role in the Indian economy in the years to come.